Category Archives: Personal

Joe Ferrara Needs Our Help. Skip Lattes for a Week, Help a Friend!

From Jay Thompson:

Joe Ferrara is very sick.

Many reading this know Joe Ferrara. If you haven’t had the honor of meeting Joe in person, then you are missing out on knowing one of the finest human beings to ever walk the face of the planet.

He’s been recently diagnosed with a very aggressive malignant brain tumor. I’m not a doctor, and I haven’t been able to speak to Joe since the diagnosis, but he is having a rough time right now and is currently in an Intensive Care Unit in a Pennsylvania area hospital.

Read the whole story here

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Random Reflections from Palapa Cincuenta Cinco

I’ve just returned from my annual trip to Zihuatanejo, Mexico, during which I live in a setting befitting a Corona Beer ad for seven wonderful, lazy days.

For a number of years I’ve vacationed at the same resort at this time of year, and I always look forward to reuniting with the other vacation “regulars” – all wonderful people.  Vacation friendships rock.

I use this time to ponder pretty much everything, having brutally frank conversations with myself (not out loud) to reconnect with my beliefs.  While there aren’t any epiphanies, it helps to correct some off-kilter perspective that tends to creep up on me over the course of the year.

In no particular order, here’s the mental grab bag from this year’s trip. Warning: random thoughts ahead!

Kankles are NOT a good look for me!
Kankles = the swollen ankles achieved by the skillful, precise combination of a week of margarita consumption and dancing in flip flops.  (FYI, this year, I hit it out of the park!)

Mistakes create innovation.
In the process of problem solving, we may come up with better solution for another problem, particularly if we mess up along the way.

Create your own image.
Don’t let others define you, nor let society/social norms define your role in life.  It’s about what we care about individually, not society’s influence.

Joy is where you find it.
I spent an hour watching a two year old boy picking up rocks on the beach, creating a meticulous pile, and then moving them one by one to create a new pile.  He squealed with joy the entire time.

Nice guys can finish first.
Interestingly, I believe the rules on this are different for men and women.  As long as you possess a strong belief in self, yet will strike back (sometimes hard) when attacked you can’t be considered a doormat.  You can be strong and nice.  Nice isn’t the same as weak.

Best isn’t necessarily good.
Without the pressure to innovate, complacency happens – be that at life or career.

Life is short.
Each year I look forward to seeing Tom and his wife Boots.  It’s just Boots now.  Tom died six weeks ago.  He suffered a massive heart attack.  He was 58 and extremely fit.  As a reminder, don’t save the “big” things for “the right” time.  Use your best linen, crystal and china on a random Tuesday.   Who cares if it breaks?

People are remarkable.
Everyone has meaningful insight, no matter the geography or industry. It’s interesting to get out of the comfort zone of our circle and into the minds of others.

Too much politics, not enough moxy.
We need a shift in leadership to those who possess the fearless moxy necessary to take risks and move our industry through these tough times (in that I include, real estate, lending, and secondary markets – the entire value chain).  Not reckless risk.  Radical yet calculated risk.

Reputation is irreplaceable.
It takes years to build, yet can be damaged in a moment.  Guard it with everything.

Plan everything all the way to the end.
It’s all about the end.  The result.  By planning for every potential pitfall  and obstacle we can keep control and get to the end.  But know when to stop.

I cry at sunsets.
Yep, I said it.  Every night I watched an amazing sunset and cried.  I don’t know why, but I always cry at a beautiful sunset (and the National Anthem at a sporting event).  I guess at the end of the day, I’m a softie (not to be mistaken for weak).

The picture doesn’t do it justice.  Can you blame me for the teaars?  Imagine the view from the sail boat …

Ah, see you next year, Zihuatanejo!

** Disclaimer.  The photos are from my Blackberry, so not that great of quality or resolution.

Freedom of Speech can Co$t You

It’s nice that we enjoy “Freedom of Speech”, but we are still responsible for our speech, and lawsuits are a reality when an individual must protect him/herself from abusive or inflammatory allegations. 

Read a definition of Defamation:

  • Defamation is the issuance of a false statement about another person, which causes that person to suffer harm.
  • Slander involves the making of defamatory statements by a transitory (non-fixed) representation, usually an oral (spoken) representation.
  • Libel involves the making of defamatory statements in a fixed or medium, such as a newspaper or blog post.

So, if you make derogatory statements that result in damage to someone’s reputation or subject them to contempt or ridicule, you could be exposed.

But, what about transparency?

That’s a big buzz word.  That and authenticity.  Yes, we have a right to our opinions and we now can express them to zillions with a couple key strokes.  But, is writing or commenting around one’s character and professional capabilities being transparent & authentic, or is its intent to derail?  

Social media doesn’t eliminate the responsibility we have to mind our words.

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The Impact of the Highly Improbable

It seems it’s in our nature to explain things, even though they are many times unexplainable.  It’s almost as though our minds our minds are machines that must create explanations to make sense of everything.

Blind to the random?

If we see or experience something every day, we believe it to be “the truth” or “the way”.   Take for example the years of a run up on real estate.  It was thought “that’s the way it “is”.  The dangerous thing of being blind to the impact of the random or unexpected is they typically result in debilitating shock.

Other examples include the attacks on the WTC or the farm animal that is nurtured and fed its entire life only to learn one (final) day it’s being raised as food.

All you need is one

Since the random event often yields a devastating aftermath, it becomes clear that the things we don’t know are more important than what we do know.  So, we look to authority figures to provide explanations so we can begin to “solve” and therefore potentially prevent such random occurrences for occurring again.

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Best Motivational Vid – Evuh!!

Perky by Force?

eeyoreIs it just me, or are the majority of Tweets and Facebook postings quite perky?  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it is authentic?  Is everyone really and truly that happy all the time? (If so, rush hour commuters must not engage in social media networks.) 

So, you’ve had a bad day

While nobody wants to spend a great deal of time around a sad apple or someone who constantly plays on the mood swings, it’s safe to say we all go there once in a while.  Family strife, work place politics, money woes and relationship challenges exist and naturally impact our mood.

Tweeting taboo?

Do we refrain from posting something negative to maintain or invent a reputation?  I ask, because I know a few people with real-life dispositions akin to Eeyore who Tweet and post the most perky of messages which is quite contrary to any interaction one would have if meeting them in real life.   

I have to admit …

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